When they heard the king, they went; and look, the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stood over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy. They entered the house and saw the child with Mary his mother. Falling to their knees, they honored him. – Matthew 2
If you have been paying attention over the past few weeks you will already know that today, January 5th, is the 12th day of Christmas. Christmas is not a “one-and-done” deal limited to December 25. It is Christmas for 12 days, and then – tomorrow – it is “Epiphany.”
Epiphany is – essentially – the understanding (a kind of revelation) that God is incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ. It’s a huge idea, an enormous truth, yet it is one of those dates on the Christian calendar that often receives scant attention in the aftermath of Christmas and the rush into the New Year.
So Rebekah and I are very deliberate when it comes to keeping the light of Christmas alive and visible through all 12 days, and then taking pause to consider the meaning of the Incarnation January 6th.
Not that we didn’t begin to un-decorate this weekend. A lot of Christmas has gone back to the attic already. But that’s okay, because we really only want the light of Christ remaining at this point. Everything else, all the razzle-dazzle fun of sentiment and bling, must take a backseat to the beauty and the meaning that is Jesus.
One bittersweet moment came when we brought down the living room rug Saturday afternoon. We had the dhurrie cleaned a year ago but decided to keep it in the attic because Scout Labradoodle was not well. But if it’s going to get messed up again now then it’s going to have to be us, the grandchildren, or Naomi’s crazy puppy from Virginia!
I think it’s the signature image of this post. A living room undecorated except with the light from the tree.
May all of our worship and our adoration be so focused, so uncomplicated. Because Jesus is God in the flesh, God with us, God for us. Emmanuel.
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.